ROCKFORD, Minn. -- David Schmidt has been intrigued by the idea of generating power from the sun for a long time, but he had never taken the next step.
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In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric power supply.
"For most of these states, they're looking at it for economic development and job creation," Ghassemi said, underscoring the reasons why solutions such as cost incentives and utility quotas haven't helped states like New Mexico catch up to California and New Jersey, an unlikely solar leader.
The big question for any homeowner considering installing solar power is a simple one: How quickly will the system pay for itself?
The short answer: It depends on where you live.
Residents here probably won't notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.
New York's fledgling solar power industry is flexing its muscle, touting polls showing that people favor the concept and pointing to a bill that is making its way through committee that would encourage more solar energy.
Massachusetts is no California when it comes to sun. But that isn't stopping the solar energy industry from flourishing here.
California is poised to more than double its targeted electricity output from rooftop solar panels.
The Lee County Port Authority is inching closer to making solar energy at Southwest Florida International Airport a reality.
It's not often that a homeowner looks forward to a bill arriving in the mail. But Chad Tromblee eagerly awaits one bill in particular.